JOHN McGINN will always be the one that got away for Peter Lawwell. The Scotland midfielder got caught up in the behind the scenes tensions between The Celtic Chief Executive and the then manager Brendan Rodgers and having waited around patiently all summer for his proposed transfer to Celtic to happen, he eventually ran out of patience and signed for Aston Villa just as Celtic were taking the field to play AEK Athens in the first leg of the Champions League qualifiers.
It was a frustrating month for Celtic, last August and one year on John McGinn has been speaking about remaining a Celtic supporter despite missing out on his dream move, and the conversation he had at the weekend with Kieran Tierney, who followed him from the SPFL to the English Premiership last week.
McGinn though had to spend a season in the Championship where he grabbed Villa by the scruff of the neck and pulled them through the toughest league in the UK to get out of (via promotion. anyway), winning their Player of the Year award and scoring the goal at Wembley that got the former European Cup winners back into the big-time of English football.
Over the summer the speculation was that Manchester Utd were interested in signing McGinn, the figure mentioned was an astonishing £50million, but Villa moved to kill that interest by signing the former Hibs man on a new, improved 5 year contract last Thursday, as we reported on The Celtic Star.
His first game in the Premier League was on Saturday, away to losing Champions League finalists Tottenham, and McGinn announced his arrival as a Premier League player by scoring the opening goal of the match to shock Spurs. Villa defended well but eventually were overrun, with Spurs winning 3-1 but McGinn certainly announced his arrival on the big stage in some style.
Earlier today he appeared on Jim White’s TalkSport show and was happy to talk about the team he supports, Celtic and also about Kieran Tierney as he re-assured Arsenal fans that they have signed a cracking player.
“I’m still a Celtic supporter, I was watching the game at the weekend, and I always will be.
It will never leave you.
“But I have to focus on doing my best for Aston Villa and whatever comes up in the future we will take it from there.
“I am still a Celtic supporter and the boys here know I harp on about it all the time but I’m fully focused on Villa,” McGinn said to Jim White, as reported by Daily Record.
White asked McGinn to compare the Villa and Celtic supports but he wasn’t giving him the headline he was after, either pro or anti one group of fans or the other. For the record the Villa fans are excellent, plenty of the Midland Irish support Villa and the nearest pub to Villa Park has a huge Celtic influence.
“That’s too hard a question,” was McGinn’s answer. He was also asked about the pressure of playing for Villa, in comparison to his time at Hibs.
“Hibs are on a different scale to Aston Villa but the demands were still the same. When you got beat it was like the world was ending.
“Being a Celtic supporter it’s the same thing. If you lose one game. So hopefully that feeling doesn’t come around too often.”
On Tierney’s move to Arenal, McGinn told the Gooners that they’d be getting a player who’d run through a brick wall for the team. He also revealed that bespoke to his Scotland teammate at the weekend to wish him all the best at his new club.
“I wished him all the best, he is a brilliant player and the Arsenal fans will see that pretty soon,” McGinn said.
“He has got everything and when he’s back fit they will realise he will run through a brick wall for them. Not only that he can get up and down the pitch and provide assists and is a really humble guy as well.”
Also on The Celtic Star…
Celtic 2 Rangers 0 – O’Dea from a Nakamura cross, McGeady from the penalty spot…see HERE.
Sold Down the River – The Last Word, ‘Will the board buy more players? 100% yes’…see HERE.
Window Shopping – Taylor, Meling, Gumny and the London Stock Exchange…see HERE.
Celtic v CRF Cluj – ‘Desperate’ Dan’s Delightful Dig at Old Rangers…see HERE.
Former Celtic target Henry Onyekuru’s €17m Monaco move from Everton…see HERE.
‘That left foot is a wand,’ Broony hails Super Leigh and KT’s ‘ fairy-tale story’…see HERE.
Forrest to Zenit? ‘No Confirmation’, not happening as ‘Maverick’ Ntcham praised by boss…see HERE.
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